The majority of the voters in New Mexico would like to see marijuana legalized for recreational purposes, according to a new poll conducted by the Albuquerque Journal.
The survey, which was published this past Sunday, finds that 61 percent of the voting public would support a measure aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis trade – similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. Only 34 percent of the respondents said they would oppose such a proposal. Others were undecided when asked their position.
Interestingly, the latest poll indicates some changing opinions among the residents of New Mexico. In 2014, the same survey found only 44 percent of the voters in favor of legal marijuana, while a whopping 50 percent said they had absolutely no interest in this reform.
“It demonstrates that public opinion (about marijuana) is shifting quickly, similar to other social issues such as same-sex marriage,” said Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc.
The Journal’s poll comes just a week after the subject of cannabis reform was brought up during a special session in the New Mexico legislature. Representative Bill McCamely suggested the state could resolve its $600 million deficit by establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis market. But his proposal, which aims to give adults 21 and over the freedom to buy legal weed at a tax rate of 15 percent, was not well received.
Similar proposals have failed miserably over the past few years, but there is hope that a bill designed to pull New Mexico out of prohibitionary times will be revisited once again during the 2017 legislative session.
Some of the latest data shows that New Mexico stands to sell more than $400 million of marijuana during the first year of legal sales. That number would increase to almost $680 million with the first five years of operation – bringing the state around $60 million in annual tax revenue.